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Old March 30, 2011, 05:37 PM   #1
FTG-05
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Favorite powder and bullet/case crimp die for 45-70?

I'm just starting to get into reloading for my Marlin 1895G Guide Gun in 45-70 Gov't. I have the Lee dies already set into my Dillon RL-550 tool head and deprimed and re-sized a number of cases.

The Lee dies did not come with a bullet/case crimp die, so I *assume* I need one. I'll be reloading Remington 300 JHP to start off with. I may later reload hard cast lead bullets, but that's a way off yet.

I have a number of rifle powders (IMR 4227, 4198 etc.), but what's your favorite powder for the 45-70 with a 300 grain JHP bullet? I'm looking for medium power loads, I'm not going after elephants, just your normal everyday Alabama-sized wild hogs and deer.

Thanks,
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Old March 30, 2011, 06:51 PM   #2
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300 grain Remington JHP, 55 grains of Reloader 7, accurate and devastating. And yeah, crimp them.
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Old March 30, 2011, 06:55 PM   #3
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I use RL 7 myself. IMR 3031 is very good also, but the Reloder 7 seems to have less felt recoil with the same velocity levels. I just loaded 100 rounds for a good friend to take on a buffler hunt; 405 RP softpoint and RL7.
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Old March 30, 2011, 07:01 PM   #4
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Not sure which Lee die set you have but mine came with a decap/size die, flair/powder die and a bullet seat/crimp die. I set the seat/crimp die to only seat the bullet (no crimp) and I uses a Lee factory crimp die in the last stage of my Dillon 550 B.

Haven’t done much loading for my Marlin 45/70 yet but I used the same bullet as you over H 4198
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Old March 30, 2011, 07:27 PM   #5
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I do the same as Jerry stated and use the Lee FCD for crimping on my Lee Classic Turret. My favorite powders for 45/70 are RL-7, H322, and IMR 3031.
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Old March 30, 2011, 07:35 PM   #6
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Jerry, this is what I got: http://leeprecision.com/xcart/3-DIE-STEEL-45-70.html

The directions very clearly stated that I had the bullet seating die and that I needed to get a crimp die, not included. It seems the last time I bought Lee dies, they came with a crimp die, but it's been a long time, hence, I got caught a little flat-footed by this. No biggie, since it's a while until deer or hog season.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions!
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Old March 30, 2011, 09:20 PM   #7
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FTG, Lee makes/supplies dies is several different configurations. Sounds like you need to purchase another die. I love the Lee Factory Crimp dies. I use them for anything that needs crimping. Since our Marlins are tube fed we need to crimp.
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Old March 30, 2011, 10:19 PM   #8
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Remington 405gr jsp, H4198, WLR, Nickel-plated Remington, Lee FCD and I load for right at 1800fps out of my guide gun.
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Old March 30, 2011, 11:05 PM   #9
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The Lee Seating die will crimp. That said, I would get a sperate die to crimp in a seperate stage after seating, like a Lee FCD.
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Old March 31, 2011, 08:05 AM   #10
FTG-05
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Quote:
I love the Lee Factory Crimp dies. I use them for anything that needs crimping. Since our Marlins are tube fed we need to crimp.
Ok, this is what I needed to know.

Gander is supposed to have a 20% off sale going on right now, so I think I'll mosey on down there this weekend and see if I can pick one up. If not, I'll Midwayusa it.

Second question: How much to crimp and how do I measure it?

RL-7 seems to be pretty popular, I'll see if they have any of that also.

Thanks,
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Old March 31, 2011, 03:14 PM   #11
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The instructions will come with the FCD but here’s the important part.
Quote:
"Screw the Lee Factory Crimp Die in to touch the shell holder plus ½ turn more. Adjusts in for a heavier crimp. It’s usually best to start with too little crimp as you can readjust and crimp again to suit your needs. When the four splits in the collet are closed, maximum crimp has been achieved. Do not try for more as the die will be damaged and the crimp excessive."
It very easy to set up and once you see the die it will all make sense. It’s been a while since I set my die up but I think I screwed mine in an additional ½ turn. That’s touch the shell plate than one complete revolution of the die. Our rifles have a lot of recoil and there is a lot of bullet face being pressed against by the shell in front of it so I prefer a little extra crimp. Start off light and play with it, you will feel and see how much crimp you are getting.

Little heads up. Don’t overly flair the mouth for bullet seating. Too much flair will interfere with the case going into the FCD.

If you want to measure the crimp you can measure, with a micrometer, at the mouth of an empty sized case then measure the same spot after you crimp.

On .45 ACP I use .002” crimp. .45 ACP indexes on the case mouth so too much crimp is a bad thing. So is too little. Since the 45/70 indexes on the rim and not the case mouth I didn’t bother to measure the crimp, I just added more crimp until I was satisfied it was good and tight.
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Last edited by Jerry45; March 31, 2011 at 03:26 PM.
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Old March 31, 2011, 06:03 PM   #12
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Aaaahaaa! The memory is slowly coming back to life! I recall those directions now on some other rifle or pistol but it's been years.

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it! I feel a lot more comfortable with this now.

Thanks,
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Old April 1, 2011, 01:07 PM   #13
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Don’t even get me started about memory problems. I started typing how to adjust the die then decided to go out to the garage and get the instructions just to make sure I was giving you good information. Good thing I did because I was telling you how to adjust a .45 ACP die which is different from the 45/70. What I typed came straight off the 45/70 instructions and IS correct. Be glad to give you any help I can.
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Old April 1, 2011, 01:14 PM   #14
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Relax guys; it's called a Senior Moment, and we ALL get them!
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Old April 1, 2011, 04:34 PM   #15
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Wait, there's a difference between .45 ACP and 45-70. Oh crap! I thought they were close enough for Gov't work.

How bad?
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Old April 1, 2011, 07:39 PM   #16
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For the .45 ACP you set the amount of crimp by adjusting a nob/threaded insert on top of/in the die. 45/70 you adjust the amount of crimp by how far down you screw the die body itself. Two completely different die designs. Neither will work on the other. Also 45 ACP and 45/70 take different size bullets. I’m not just talking weight the diameter of the 45/70 is larger. 45 ACP 452 diameter … 45/70 458 diameter.
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Last edited by Jerry45; April 1, 2011 at 07:54 PM.
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Old April 3, 2011, 11:06 AM   #17
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The nice thing about the FCD is that it isn't sensitive about case length. My 1895CB loves 405SWC over some 2400.
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Old April 4, 2011, 06:39 AM   #18
FTG-05
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That was just a joke, I don't reload .45 ACP. Prolly should have put a smiley icon down at the bottom of the post.

Thanks for the info on the 45-70 crimp die. I ordered it from Midway Saturday AM, should be here by the end of the week. Plenty of time to get it down before next deer season.

Thanks,
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Old April 4, 2011, 07:46 AM   #19
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i also have a question on 45-70

do you have to lube your cases?
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Old April 4, 2011, 12:35 PM   #20
FTG-05
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Yes, whether carbide or not, you have to lube all rifle cases prior to resizing. I don't know of anyone that makes a carbide die for the 45-70, although I'm sure someone does.

I have carbide dies for 9mm and .40 S&W and .223. I don't have to lube for the 9 and .40 (I do anyway, makes it easier) and I have to on the .223.
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